Scratches: Dalton Thrower, Mac Bennett, John Scott, Travis Brown, Cory Ward, Simon Bourque, Ben Scrivens, Brandon McNally, Angelo Miceli, Alexandre Ranger, Eddie Pasquale, Markus Eisenschmid (undisclosed) Injured Reserve: Connor Crisp (undisclosed), Michael Bournival (concussion)
It wasn’t a fluke. Last night’s OT win wasn’t just a flash in the pan for the IceCaps, as they took to their home ice this afternoon with another energetic and determined 60 minutes of play.
Jacob de la Rose stood out yet again, potting the first goal just over a minute into the game. He was soon followed by Morgan Ellis scoring his 16th of the season, with an assist by Bud Holloway.
Next it was Mike McCarron’s turn, handling a pass right out of the penalty box and skating it in for a backhander into the net. He was assisted by Holloway, who set a new single-season points record for the franchise with 60 points, and Tom Parisi who earned his first pro point.
The second period brought more of the onslaught. Tim Bozon wristed one past the goaltender right off the bat, and then Nikita Scherbak found mesh after a series of clean passes from McCarron and Charles Hudon.
The Comets managed to get on the board, but the IceCaps and Eddie Pasquale kept them out of the net for the rest of the period – despite Utica coming at the net hard and peppering Pasquale with shot attempts.
In the third period, the ice continued to tilt in favor of the IceCaps as Hudon potted two goals of his own. The second one came after McCarron dropped the gloves with Joseph LaBate and earned himself his first AHL Gordie Howe hat trick.
The St. John’s team seemed to get a bit undisciplined late in the third, giving up a series of penalties that allowed plenty of man-advantage time for the Comets, but Pasquale kept the Utica skaters at bay for an outstanding finish to the weekend.
The IceCaps close out their season by hosting the Hartford Wolfpack on Friday and Saturday nights at Mile One Centre.
▲ Jacob de la Rose, Michael McCarron, Morgan Ellis, Bud Holloway, Tom Parisi, Nikita Scherbak, Charles Hudon
0 for 4
0 for 6
STJ: de la Rose (6), Ellis (16), McCarron (16), Bozon (4), Scherbak (7), Hudon (27), Hudon (28)
TORONTO, ON — Promising Montreal Canadiens prospect, Nikita Scherbak has some ideas about who he would put in his NHL starting lineup, and they might surprise you!
For the St. John’s IceCaps, the 2016 Easter long weekend was spent rounding off a 14-day road trip, their last of the regular season. The team came to Toronto to face off against the Marlies in two games of good ol’ fashioned rivalry hockey. While they lost both games in the big city, 20-year-old Nikita Scherbak continued to show promising strides in his career, showing off some of that signature stick work and posting an assist.
The first round draft pick continues to clock big time minutes with the IceCaps, showcasing impressive puck handling and sly pivots, all the while, improving on his defensive play. His potential keeps growing in tandem with his determination and passion to be a top NHL forward.
After taking to Twitter and Facebook to collect some of your questions, I caught up with the Moscow-native in Toronto to get you some answers, and they definitely did not disappoint.
On Saturday afternoon, you played at the ACC and on Monday night you went to an NBA game at the ACC. How did you like watching the Raptors? Did you have good seats? — Jason (Markham, ON.) via Facebook
Scherbak: I was excited, really, I like basketball a lot! It’s one of my favourite sports, because my mom used to play. So, about seats…[laughs] it wasn’t really good seats, I mean, it was on top, in the 300s. So, the guys made jokes on me in the morning, saying I watched from the CN tower, but I mean, that was my first experience, so I was really excited, and I [got the chance] to see Durant and Westbrook, they [are some] of my favourite players in the NBA, so it was really nice.
Scherbak: My music, actually, I put my music. Last couple of games, the boys give me a chance […] I don’t like, I’m not a big fan of country, so I like more techno and rap so yeah we’re listening to rap and techno before we go on the ice.
Describe the atmosphere of the dressing room: after a win and after a loss.
Scherbak: Well, it’s always tough, I mean, like when you lose the game and no one [is] happy, right? Because, obviously you’re trying, you put effort and something doesn’t go well so a bit more quiet after games. We try and just, I don’t know, try and forget right away that game, what happened on the ice.
And, obviously, when we win the game we’re all happy and we’re all smiling and it’s fun, you know, it’s fun to win!
What is your favorite thing to do when you are on the bus/plane? Play cards? Listen to music? Read? Sleep? — Amanda (Seattle, WA.) via Facebook
Scherbak: That’s a tough one, I don’t know. Try and get sleep maybe, but usually I can’t sleep on the bus or plane. I can’t sleep when I am sitting down so I try to play games on my iPhone or iPad or wherever. Watch a movie on the plane and listening to music.
Scherbak: A lot! I miss junior, I miss my junior career a lot, because it was so much fun. All the guys and the fans too, you know, it was crazy, especially in Everett. We had a good team, good year and uh, the crowd was good at those games so I was excited to play there, especially games against Seattle, it was sold out so it was awesome, I miss it a lot!
2/2 #Habs Pacioretty jokes that 6'6" Mike McCarron probably has never shaved in his life. @MacAttackUSA93 confirms he shaves every 3 weeks.
Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty recently joked that, “(Mike) McCarron probably has never shaved in his life.” When asked McCarron said that he shaves every three weeks. So Bobby, from Montreal, had to know..
Scherbak: That’s a really tough one. I don’t know, if I were to be coach, I would, well first of all, I would take [Carey] Price in net, for sure, that’s 100 per cent. On defense, I would put Erik Karlsson and let’s say, Drew Doughty and forward would be [Sidney] Crosby, Jamie Benn and, uh, let’s take a Russian… let’s take [Pavel] Datsyuk!
Scherbak: I’ll be honest, it doesn’t…it’s a tough one. I played a lot on the wing, basically all my career and this year, I start centre and I like it alot. I don’t know, I think I rather play centre now, like after a couple games playing centre, I would like to play centre.
Scherbak: Oh, I don’t know that’s tough. I mean all guys talented, to play on this team, in this league, you have to be talented and you have to be, you have to work hard. […] Obviously, the older guys, but maybe most talented, I would say Charles Hudon. I really like how he plays and the way, the skill he has, so I really like him.
Scherbak: Everything! I dont know, my parents, my friends. Just the atmosphere and my culture and just the city. I mean, I am born there, and I [haven’t] been there in a long time so I’m really excited to go back. [I miss] my parents a lot, I didn’t see them for awhile.
#AskAnIceCap Least favorite exercise during workouts/training?
Scherbak: [Laughs] Probably, no, I like to jump, jumping, maybe over something, on something. I don’t know, maybe bench press [laughs]. Let’s say bench press, I am not good at that any way, so…
What is your plan/schedule for the off-season? Randy (Waterloo, Ontario) via Facebook
Scherbak: So I will go home, back [to] Moscow, right away, I think, and we’ll see from that. I need to make a new Visa and stuff so we’ll see. Ill go home first and I’ll decide after that. Go and hang out with my parents a lot, try and see all of my friends, which is a lot of friends, I didn’t see them for 3 years and maybe go for a vacation somewhere, we will see, we will figure [it out]!
Thank you for sending us your questions! Missed out? Be sure to follow along with us on social media @IceCapsReport, @AllHabs and @TaylorOliviaMc so it never happens again. Meanwhile, we can’t wait to see what the future holds for the promising career of Nikita Scherbak!
Listen to Nikita Scherbak answer fan questions here:
[one_half_last]Didier – Lernout
Joyaux – Ellis
Scott – Johnston[/one_half_last]
Scratches: Shane Bakker, Mac Bennett, Angelo Miceli, Travis Brown, Markus Eisenschmid (undisclosed) Injured Reserve: Connor Crisp (undisclosed), Michael Bournival (concussion)
After riding a high from last night’s hard-fought team win, the IceCaps then rode a bus across the border to Toronto, Ontario and arrived in the early morning hours at their hotel only to wake up early and hit the ice for an afternoon matinee. They faced a rested, refreshed Marlies team at the Air Canada Centre and their fatigue showed.
Brett Lernout actually got things started on a positive note with his second goal of the season, assisted by Nikita Scherbak and Charles Hudon. And then St. John’s reverted to slow, sloppy, tired play and unsteady goaltending and found themselves down 3-1 by the end of the first period.
Adding insult to injury, the IceCaps then began taking penalty after penalty in the second frame. Thankfully the penalty killers stood strong yet again and denied the Marlies on every man advantage. Bud Holloway got his team one goal closer to a comeback by banking in a wide open rebound. He was assisted by Gabriel Dumont and Brandon McNally.
Hudon then scored his 26th goal of the season about halfway through the third period to bring St. John’s to within one goal of the Marlies. But Brendan Leipsic deflated any hope the IceCaps had with a late-period goal against Zach Fucale to seal a victory for Toronto.
The IceCaps have some rest and practice to look forward to over the next couple of days before they visit Ricoh Coliseum on Tuesday for their last tilt against the Marlies for this season.
▲ Brett Lernout, Charles Hudon, Nikita Scherbak, Bud Holloway, Max Friberg, Josiah Didier
[one_half_last]Joyaux – Ellis
Didier – Lernout
Scott – Johnston[/one_half_last]
Scratches: Shane Bakker, Mac Bennett, Angelo Miceli, Markus Eisenschmid (undisclosed) Injured Reserve: Connor Crisp (undisclosed), Michael Bournival (concussion)
IceCaps fans watching tonight’s game may have thought they were experiencing deja vu. Charles Hudon scored first for St. John’s again, assisted by Nikita Scherbak, tying the game early in the first period at 1-1.
In the second period, the IceCaps once again opened up the scoring with two goals by Brandon McNally, and a goal by Morgan Ellis. Cory Ward added two more assists to his season tally. Penalties came and went, but the penalty killing unit stood tall and denied every Rochester attempt to put pucks through Eddie Pasquale.
Then, in the final frame, Max Friberg put the IceCaps up 5-1 – just like they started the period on Wednesday night. And just like the previous game, that’s when the Americans started to mount a comeback, scoring two quick goals. But Pasquale stood his ground, despite being peppered with 28 shots in the 3rd period, and the IceCaps took this one decisively 5-3.
It was a valiant team win by a group of hockey players who have faced some devastating losses over the last week of the season. The win should give them a much-needed boost of confidence going into Saturday’s afternoon matinee against the Toronto Marlies at the Air Canada Centre.
▲ Morgan Ellis, Mark MacMillan, Cory Ward, Eddie Pasquale, Brandon McNally, Max Friberg
ST. JOHN’s, NL — Every Tuesday, IceCaps Hockey Report’s lead contributor, Amy Johnson, reviews the most recent action involving prospects of the Montreal Canadiens and what to expect from the St. John’s IceCaps in the week ahead.
Scratches: Shane Bakker, Angelo Miceli, Travis Brown, Dalton Thrower, Michael Bournival (concussion), Markus Eisenschmid (undisclosed) Injured Reserve: Connor Crisp (undisclosed)
Despite a few battle scars from the previous night, the IceCaps took to their home ice on Saturday night ready for another round with the Albany Devils. And they came out blazing.
Nikita Scherbak continued his success on the first line with a power play goal just six minutes into the game, assisted by Bud Holloway and Ryan Johnston. Joel Hanley also found the back of the net with assists from Max Friberg and Andrew Yogan.
But then the Devils found their footing. By the end of the first period, they had answered with four consecutive goals. The IceCaps only mustered three shots on goal in the period, which didn’t help them keep the scoring more even.
Holloway got one goal back for St. John’s in the second period, and then in third it was Brandon McNally who got the equalizer in the third. Both teams had a couple of good chances late in regulation but the goaltenders kept the score even at four each.
Overtime gave the IceCaps an opportunity to get six more shots on goal, but none of them would get through. Yogan took a holding penalty and the Devils scored the winner on the ensuing power play.
Despite the loss, it was a good night for Scherbak with a goal and two assists, and newcomer Yogan has tallied an assist in each of the two games he’s played for St. John’s. He had to be helped off the ice at the end of the game, however, after going down awkwardly and favoring his left foot.
The Icecaps now look to Tuesday night when the Binghamton Senators come to St. John’s for a two-night series.
▲ Bud Holloway, Nikita Scherbak, Josiah Didier, Andrew Yogan
[one_half_last]Dietz – Lernout
Hanley – Johnston
Brown – Didier[/one_half_last]
Scratches: Shane Bakker, Angelo Miceli, Mac Bennett, Dalton Thrower, Michael Bournival (concussion), Markus Eisenschmid (undisclosed) Injured Reserve: Connor Crisp (undisclosed)
It had been almost a week since the last time the IceCaps took the ice for a game. After finally grabbing a win in Syracuse at the end of a disappointing road trip, the team had a few days to rest and practice before welcoming the Albany Devils to the Mile One Centre.
The first period was rather sluggish, with St. John’s only getting four shots on goal. Only one penalty, against Gabriel Dumont, was called in the opening frame – a quiet 20 minutes to be sure.
The second period, however, was the polar opposite. Charles Hudon scored his 19th goal of the season during a power play, assisted by Dumont and Nikita Scherbak. The goals came fast and furious after that, with Alexander Ranger and Brandon McNally both scoring within another minute or so.
Then things got pretty intense. Five fights were recorded in the period, with Mark MacMillan and John Scott both getting thrown out with game misconducts. Scherbak was the victim of a dirty hit from behind which tossed him toward the visiting bench and into the stanchion. Scott took exception and landed a flurry of solid left jabs onto the face and head of Ben Thomson.
The Devils managed to get one goal on the board in the third period, but the IceCaps didn’t let them get any farther in the scoring race. It was a solid team win to kick off this home stand as they try to make a push toward the playoffs down the stretch.
The Icecaps face the Albany Devils again on Saturday night for the second game of the back-to-back and the final game in the season series.
▲ Bud Holloway, Eddie Pasquale, Charles Hudon, John Scott, Darren Dietz
[one_half_last]Dietz – Lernout
Hanley – Johnston
Brown – Didier[/one_half_last]
Scratches: Angelo Miceli, Mac Bennett, Dalton Thrower, Michael Bournival (concussion), Markus Eisenschmid (undisclosed) Injured Reserve: Connor Crisp (undisclosed)
They needed a win in a big way. So they won in a big way. Tonight’s final game of the road trip started much like the others before it: the Crunch scored first in the opening frame and the IceCaps found themselves down on the scoreboard.
But with about two minutes remaining in the first period, Joel Hanley potted his fourth goal of the season, assisted by Charles Hudon and Gabriel Dumont. Then to open the second period, newcomer Travis Brown netted his first of the season with the help of Bud Holloway and Nikita Scherbak. Taking the lead seemed to give the IceCaps a much-needed jolt of energy and they took the rest of the game handily.
Alexandre Ranger also scored his first of the season before Hudon found mesh on the power play in the third period. Dumont wrapped things up with an empty-netter late in the third.
So what were the keys to winning tonight, especially with key players like Mike McCarron, Morgan Ellis, Jacob de la Rose, and Sven Andrighetto all called up to Montreal? Shots on goal and discipline. The team has recently struggled with their shot count, but tonight dominated in this category 45-30. They also stayed out of the penalty box, only giving up one power play to the Crunch in the final seconds of the game.
The Icecaps now head back to Newfoundland for some rest and practice before taking home ice at Mile One on Friday night when the Albany Devils come to St. John’s.
▲ Bud Holloway, Eddie Pasquale, Joel Hanley, Charles Hudon, Gabriel Dumont
Scratches: Alexandre Ranger, Shane Bakker, Travis Brown, Dalton Thrower, Michael Bournival (concussion), Markus Eisenschmid (undisclosed) Injured Reserve: Connor Crisp (undisclosed)
It’s a story IceCaps fans are quite familiar with at this point: St. John’s gives up a goal early in the first period, then another. They take too many penalties, the power play can’t convert, and they finally turn on the jets in the third period when it’s too late to make a comeback. And it’s a story we have to tell again after tonight’s game.
It only took two and a half minutes for the opposition to score on the IceCaps this time. Soon after, John Scott got into his first full fight as an IceCap and things went downhill from there. Mark MacMillan got called for a high-sticking double minor at the end of the first period, giving the Comets about three minutes of power play time to open the second period.
Former Montreal Canadiens forward Brandon Prust earned two points on the evening for two consecutive assists. Jeremy Gregoire also dropped the gloves, as did Charles Hudon – with Malcolm Subban.
A few minutes into the third period, Bud Holloway found the back of the net on the power play. Nikita Scherbak and Morgan Ellis assisted on the goal. The IceCaps scrambled and pressured the Comets throughout the rest of the third but goaltender Richard Bachman stood tall and didn’t allow any more pucks to get through.
Captain Gabriel Dumont returned to the IceCaps lineup for this game. Mac Bennett was recalled from the Brampton Beast before the game, while Ellis and Michael McCarron were called up to the Montreal Canadiens immediately following the game.
The Icecaps finish up their road trip with a rematch in Syracuse with the Crunch Saturday night.
▲ Morgan Ellis, Michael McCarron, Max Friberg, Bud Holloway
▼ Angelo Miceli, John Scott, Zach Fucale
1 for 4
0 for 4
STJ: Holloway (16)
UTI: Zalewski (13), Hamilton (7), Bancks (9), Higgins (3)
BINGHAMTON, NY. — The St. John’s IceCaps were in Binghamton to play a pair of games against the Senators on the weekend. Players and coaches were kind enough to provide the IceCaps Hockey Report team with exclusive interviews that we present to you below.
Dietz is having a solid season having appeared in 51 of 54 IceCaps games this season. He is second in scoring among IceCaps defencemen with 15 points. Darren talks about the game against the Senators, his season and his favorite player.
Scherbak has missed 28 games in an injury-shortened first season as a pro. He has eight points in 26 games this year. Scherbak returned to a more familiar position at wing on Saturday night after a 10-game stint at centre. Scherbak candidly talks about his injuries, his adjustment to the centre position and his favorite players.
IceCaps head coach Sylvain Lefebvre spoke about the Binghamton series, changes to the lineup, preparing for the playoffs and provided a brief injury update.